Picture it. You’ve barely begun to open your eyes and you’re already opening your e-mail at work. You sip from your coffee mug while waiting for the send/receive to finish its cycle. You begin to scan and there it is…an e-mail, responding to a simple question or request, sent to you from Captain Nasty.
You know the type. They give you more questions then answers. They make you feel stupid with lengthy quotes from unknown authors they copied off the internet. They take five steps to the side just to avoid taking one stride forward. They challenge you. They exhaust you and oh, look at that…they CC’d everyone else in the office.
So, if you’re anything at all like me, you hit the reply tab with a vengeance. You type as fast as your fingers will allow, thinking this time they will be stopped. When you’ve finished, you lean back to appreciate your written masterpiece. In just a few short paragraphs you’ve essentially proven their incompetence and added an exclamation point to the end for good measure. You take a deep breath, another few sips of coffee, and you hit the little X in the corner of the screen. Do you want to discard?
Well, you don’t want to get fired. So why did you write it in the first place? I have the answer to that in three simple words…It feels good!
What you just did was the mental equivalent to jogging in the basement for an hour. No one has to see you do it. No one has to confirm that you did it well. You do it because of how it makes you feel. Now, it’s true, there are times when it’s hard to sit down to your keyboard. Just like exercise, you sometimes have to force yourself to engage if you want to stay in shape, but the end result is still a release of inner stress that makes you feel better for trying.
I love to write. I have been writing for years. Until recently I very rarely shared anything I composed. I think this is because for me writing is a purging process. Never be afraid of a first draft. Some people don’t write because they fear what others will think if they read it. Maybe they have bad spelling or punctuation. Anyone reading this article can see I’ve never let that stop me! Besides…I don’t have to let you read it. Even as I write this, I can still hit delete.
If you have passion, no one needs to validate your work for you to enjoy it. One of the great things about the process is that it doesn’t even have to be good writing for you to feel better. Just get it out there. I use anger as the example here, because I think it is the easiest emotion to motivate this sort of therapy, but any strong sentiment will do.
So- if you’re happy write! If you’re sad, write. If you’re angry, elated, prideful, or moved in any way, write. Most importantly, if you want to know real joy, write!
Thanks for reading- Talyn Marie